Friday, September 1, 2017

Data Migration

Data Migration

FamilySearch Support frequently receives questions about moving family history data from one platform (website, app, database, operating system) to another. Where different operating systems are concerned, note that Ancestral Quest and RootsMagic are available for both Windows and MacOS. Web based products have the advantage of working with any operating system. Gedcom is also a universal system.

The most common questions tend to be moving data into or out of Family Tree.
There are multiple options for moving data in:

1. Re-enter the data. This will take between 2 and 7 minutes per name, depending on the user’s keyboard skills and the amount of information on each person, and any duplicates found. 2 minutes assumes a high level of familiarity and entering just a name, birth and death. 4 minutes per name is probably a fair average, if the patron is also adding christening, marriage and burial information. At 4 minutes per name, this works out to 6 or 7 hours for 100 names

2. Import a gedcom file into Pedigree Resource File, and match with Family Tree, one record at a time. Gedcoms seem to work best work best in "for PAF" format. (Click the images to enlarge them.) 

In my personal experiment (your mileage may vary), the time involved was:
Creating gedcom of 115 names: 4 minutes; 
Uploading gedcom: 4 minutes; 
Categorizing gedcom: 5 minutes; 
Compare: about 3 minutes per record, so a little faster than re-entry. 
Maybe 5 hours for 100 names. NOTE: This option cannot add living people. 

3. Using any one of the three software packages that can synchronize with Family Tree. (Legacy Family Tree, Ancestral Quest, RootsMagic). If the data is already in the software’s own database format, there is no need to import a gedcom.   (This option can also export data from FT.)
I selected 381 records, and it took 5 minutes for the software to categorize the records:
114 positive matches (almost certain, but check if you wish); 
25 Possible matches (requiring maybe 2 minutes each allowing for possible duplicates); 
96 Not Matched – Deceased (they can be added as a group); 
72 Not Matched – Living (they can be added as a group if there is a reason to do so); 
74 Already Linked (already linked to records in FT). 
In my experience 100 records might take 1-2 hours of time, depending whether you choose to accept all of the positive matches without reviewing them. 

Using RootsMagic 7 to Link and FamilySearch Family Tree

A recent option for RootsMagic users is to synchronize their database at and FamilySearch Family Tree. No gedcom is involved. This will be of special interest to Public users. can provide detailed instructions on using their product. Any requests for information should be referred to

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